OHPEN AHRMS: Everything Is Noise Premieres “Spun In The Dark” From Chicago Progressive/Post-Rock Outfit; Lying Beside You Debut To See Release March 15th

Photo by Quinn Curren

OHPEN AHRMS are Journey if they lived long enough to see themselves become the villain. Sitting somewhere between heavy progressive rock and shoegaze, OHPEN AHRMS harken to a golden age of theatrical rock and iconic riffs, complete with anthemic power and imagery of grand destruction.” – Everything Is Noise

Stream OHPEN AHRMS’ “Spun In The Dark” HERE.

Everything Is Noise is currently streaming “Spun In The Dark,” the latest single from Chicago’s OHPEN AHRMS. The track comes off the band’s debut album, Lying Beside You, set for independent release on March 15th.

OHPEN AHRMS worships at the altar of heavy progressive rock and 1980s/’90s album-oriented rock romanticisms. Songs inspired by canonical riffing and post-rock noise feature winding layers of guitars, synths, and vocal harmonies that emerge through a landscape of metal, arena-rock, and shoegaze influences. Both the band’s moniker, OHPEN AHRMS, and their debut album, Lying Beside You, are in reference to Escape, the classic 1981 Journey album. Lying Beside You was driven by post-pandemic exploration in 2021, as Alan Strathmann (guitar/vocals/synths) and Quinn Curren (drums/percussion) – both of Chicago’s purveyors of melodic doomgaze Starless – began fleshing out songs with Sam Ross (guitar/vocals), and later recruited Sheldon Kessel (keys/organ) and Andy Wulf (bass) to arrive at a lineup.

Thematically, OHPEN AHRMS sings about morality, trauma, spirituality, and mental well-being, examining from their corner of the world, times complicated by tension and conflict. The lyrics look with melancholy at the futility of grand and ill-informed action. A parable, and a warning: we may never be able to look at things with shared clarity or belief; we are woefully unprepared to deal with the universe, or – despite our best efforts – witness anything but our own guaranteed destruction.

“The isolation of the pandemic made me pretty introspective,” reveals Strathmann, “And the moments of inspiration were also pretty messed up, and fearful. I imagine songs on Lying Beside You as a kind of fantastical autofiction, focusing on very specific ideas like the societal conception of evil or the language of war and of suicide pacts… but also as a processing on the way back to things from my past. Not just to pre pandemic times – being in a band writing music – but also to what feels like a much more distant and liberated place. I think that’s why I was thinking about Escape, and the impact of bands and albums that changed me early on.”

Elaborates Strathmann on “Spun In The Dark,” “The track is partly a call-to-arms and a spitting at our complicity in allowing ourselves to be dulled. The lyrics have been with me for a while and the melodrama of the guitar riff seemed like a good fit. So obviously dark, shadowy things are happening that are not to our benefit, and from one point of view we’re all in the dirt playing with blocks. There are these theatrics there I guess to make a point; for me it’s easy to get lost thinking about the drama and that the gears — literally and figuratively, the systems of government, war machines — are rolling over us: ‘craft working engines of old,’ and they’re ultimately our own fault. So, do we lie down, or do we learn the language and figure out the code? Whatever we do, we seem to be built to resist in some way. Maybe telling stories in dark corners is something of a retaliation. Maybe yelling at clouds, dark clouds, is another.”

Writes Everything Is Noise in part, “It’s a truly epic track, aimed at conjuring images of the giant, all-consuming machine that is the evil intentions of our governments, and our just uprising, fighting back from the shadows. The track begins with melodramatic overdriven guitar, tone straight from the heyday of power metal, set on a backdrop of percussion that booms like war drums. Opening up quickly with soaring guitars, and complex riffing, I was immediately reminded of prog titans King Crimson and Mastodon…”

Read more and stream OHPEN AHRMS’ “Spun In The Dark,” now playing at Everything Is Noise, HERE.

Lying Beside You was recorded throughout 2021-2023 at Narwhal Studios and Hypercube Studios and engineered by Sanford Parker. The record includes guest contributions from Ian Richter (bass), Evan Dale (bass), and Jennifer Lee Dumont (flute and sax).

Lying Beside You will be released on CD and digitally through all streaming services on March 15th. Find preorders HERE where first single, “Don’t Look for Me There,” can be streamed.

Lying Beside You Track Listing:

  1. Destroyer
  2. Lying Beside You
  3. Make Me A Ghost
  4. Spun In The Dark
  5. Don’t Look For Me
  6. Drawing Fire
  7. Night Vision
  8. War!Today